Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center

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Research at the Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center focuses on providing the scientific understanding and technologies needed to support and implement sound management and conservation of our Nation's biological resources occurring in Hawai'i and other Pacific island locations.

Spotlight on Research

Spotlight on Research

From Dengue Fever to Zika Virus: mosquitoes have been making headlines lately across the globe. PIERC monitors mosquitoes throughout the Pacific. Learn more about the role of mosquitoes and other vectors on wildlife health in the Pacific Basin.

Vector Ecology

Featured Scientist

Featured Scientist

PIERC ecologist Dr. Dennis LaPointe's work has focused on the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses throughout the Pacific and their impacts on native birds. He is currently assisting NPS with coastal mosquito monitoring to protect public health.

LaPointe Research

News

A Laysan Albatross chick in its nest near the coastline at Midway Atoll, Hawaii
June 22, 2017

Sudden flooding hit islands of global importance for Pacific birds highlighting threats and opportunities for conservation planning

Lab in a suitcase supplies and cases
May 10, 2017

Researchers at the USGS Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, and USDA Agriculture Research Service have developed a new tool to rapidly detect the pathogens that cause Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death, a disease affecting a keystone tree species across more than 50,000 of acres of land in Hawai‘i. 

Man holding red bird.
April 11, 2017

Long distance flights in search of flowering trees threatens the Hawaiian Iiwi as climate change increases the distribution of avian diseases

Publications

Year Published: 2017

Efforts to eradicate yellow crazy ants on Johnston Atoll: Results from crazy ant strike teams X, XI and XII (June 2015–December 2016)

Efforts to eradicate invasive yellow crazy ants (Anoplolepis gracilipes; YCA) on Johnston Atoll have been continuous since their discovery in 2010. Through 2014, a variety of commercial and novel formicidal baits were tested against the ant, but none proved capable of eradication. More recently, polyacrylamide crystals (“hydrogel”) saturated with...

Peck, Robert W; Banko, Paul C.; Donmoyer, Kevin; Scheiner, Katrina; Karimi, Rebekah; Kropidlowski, Stefan
Peck, R. W., P. C. Banko, K. Donmoyer, K. Scheiner, R. Karmi, and S. Kropidlowski. 2017. Efforts to eradicate yellow crazy ants on Johnston Atoll: results from Crazy Ant Strike Teams X, XI and XII (June 2015–December 2016). Hawai`i Cooperative Studies Unit Technical Report HCSU-TR081, University of Hawai'i at Hilo, Hilo. Available: https://dspace.lib.hawaii.edu/handle/10790/3205.

Year Published: 2017

Linking occupancy surveys with habitat characteristics to estimate abundance and distribution in an endangered cryptic bird

Accurate estimates of the distribution and abundance of endangered species are crucial to determine their status and plan recovery options, but such estimates are often difficult to obtain for species with low detection probabilities or that occur in inaccessible habitats. The Puaiohi (Myadestes palmeri) is a cryptic species endemic to Kauaʻi,...

Crampton, Lisa H.; Brinck, Kevin W.; Pias, Kyle E.; Heindl, Barbara A. P.; Savre, Thomas; Diegmann, Julia S.; Paxton, Eben
Crampton, L. H., K. W. Brinck, K. E. Pias, B. A. P. Heindl, T. Savre, J. S. Diegmann, and E. H. Paxton. 2017. Linking occupancy surveys with habitat characteristics to estimate abundance and distribution in an endangered cryptic bird. Biodiversity and Conservation 26:1525–1539. Available: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10531-017-1313-0

Year Published: 2017

Beyond exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity: A response based ecological framework to assess species climate change vulnerability

As the impacts of global climate change on species are increasingly evident, there is a clear need to adapt conservation efforts worldwide. Species vulnerability assessments (VAs) are increasingly used to summarize all relevant information to determine a species’ potential vulnerability to climate change and are frequently the first step in...

Fortini, Lucas; Schubert, Olivia
Fortini, L., and O. Schubert. 2017. Beyond exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity: a response based ecological framework to assess species climate change vulnerability. Climate Change Responses 4:1–7. Available: https://climatechangeresponses.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40665-017-0030-y